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East Africa to have 1.7MT maize surplus, 119% higher than last year

The East Africa region is expected to have a net surplus of 1,700,000MT of maize in marketing year (MY)  2023/24. This is 119 per cent higher than last year and 46 per cent more than the five-year (2018 to 2022) average.

The region is projected to have a surplus maize supply 45 per cent above the recent five-year average.

Regional maize production is projected to be nine and 11 per cent above the recent five-year average, driven mainly by a 26 per cent above-average production in surplus-producing Tanzania stemming from favourable weather, increased acreage, and usage of subsidized fertilizer. The exportable surplus in Tanzania is expected to be 36 per cent above average. 

Production in the other two surplus-producing countries (Ethiopia and Uganda) was average because of slightly poorer rainfall performance

In the deficit-producing countries, production is expected to be average in Kenya and seven, 15, and 17 percent above average in Rwanda, Burundi, and Somalia because of El-Nino-related good rainfall performance. 

However, an eight per cent below-average harvest is projected in South Sudan due to El-Nino-related poor rainfall performance.

The maize deficit in Burundi, Kenya, and South Sudan is expected to be 159, 68, and 16 percent lower than the 2017/22 average decreasing the regional shortfall. 

Markets

Maize prices are starting to dip below the five-year average in deficit-producing countries. These price declines are driven by average to above-average harvests across most countries, with a significant surplus in Tanzania which reduced shortfalls in the deficit-producing countries of Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Rwanda, and Burundi. 

Cross-border trade also declined due to availability in consumption countries and low-price differentials.

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